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Researching the “Top Ten Art Books” of all time was pretty disappointing.

There isn’t really an obvious category.

You get either fine art instruction books or general arts books.

But there is still some very interesting information available in the top selling lists that I did find.

As an artist, you are a seller of things and it’s always a good idea to take a look at what things the people are willing to buy.

I present to you, in no particular order –

“My list of lists about art books and things vaguely associated with art books”

…ta dahhhh….

    1. Michael Bracewell’s top 10 Art Books

    Andy_Warhol_by_Jack_MitchellI thought this was it!

    I found the top selling collected works books of particular artists… nope.

    This is a list of more academic books about the idea and conceptions of art. There are collected letters, writings and musings by some of the great artists of the 20th century – Duchamp and a biography of Andy Warhol.

    It’s an interesting collection of view points.

    According to the author:

    “…some of the most eloquent writing on both artistic practice and the history of art is also the most indirect…”




    2. 40 Books That Every Artist Should Own Part 1

    The ARTINFO Bookshelf

    The ARTINFO Bookshelf

    What a great curated collection of a wide variety of art-associated books… biography, philosophy, academic investigation, history… theory… this is a significant list that you could spend a lifetime digging into.

    I wonder if there will be a part II?




    3. Top 10 Best Graffiti Books

    51BEec7ctzL._SX258_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_ Awwww yiisssss….

    I love me some graffiti – so I’m pretty stoked about this collection. I didn’t even know it was a subject of discourse.

    You’re losing your street cred Graffiti – they’re writing about you in the schools!

    Bansky’s on this list – he’s got a whole book to himself.

    So does Sheppard Fairey.

    This is a good list to peruse if you’re into the street art and want some foundation background.


    4. Making a Mark Art Book Lists

    Making a Mark is a site that bookmarks lists. So, this site is a list of lists.

    This is getting a little meta…

    But it’s a great resource for more options to learn and research.

    I was particularly interested in the polls in the right sidebar. There’s a little bit of “oh really…” for the taking.

    North Light books has a list of best sellers in art techniques:

    5. North Light Books Art Techniques top sellers

    I’m skeptical that pastel books are their 2 best sellers… it seems hard to believe… I wonder sometimes whether a “best sellers” list is really a “promote” list and has nothing to do with sales numbers, but is more about what has too much stock in the warehouse.

    Oh… i’m showing my cynical side.

    Anyway – they have great books there and these are their “best”.
    (Supposedly.)


    6. 20 Best Selling Children’s Books of All Time

    best-childrens-books-15 The top five spots are taken up by Harry Potter (which I am totally okay with), but there are a bunch of books on this list that made me smile.

    I’ve only read about 11 of the 20 – many seem to be going for the long game and have been in print for ages!!

    The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton was a surprise in the top 10. I didn’t realize it was on the same level as “Charlotte’s Web” (my all time favourite).



The final list isn’t strictly about art, it’s The Most Influential Books in History, which I think is just plain interesting and should be looked at.

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)Tomorrow I’ll be posting a list of the artists I know who’ve put together their own art books… when in doubt – make your own list.

That’s the lesson for today.





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Have you ever thought about creating an Art Book collection of your work or a particular series? Maybe creating a hand printed collection with handmade paper… or a down and dirty cheap photocopied zine?         Click on the image to see how an art book can grow your audience and sales.   […]